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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The A-to-Z of Arizona Athletics

    Aussie Aussie Aussie – Wildcat men’s golfer Tarquin MacManus earned All-American accolades after a strong showing during his sophomore year. The now junior from Cairns, Queensland, Australia led the Wildcats with a 72.35 scoring average. MacManus is the 51st Arizona golfer to earn All-American honors and the first since 2006. Baird, Dillon – the 2009 Pacific 10 Conference Batting Champion. Baird led the conference with a 0.433 batting average while tallying 84 hits and 55 RBI on the year. In the 2009 MLB draft, the Anaheim Angels selected Baird in the 11th round.

    Candrea, Mike -Under the leadership of Mike Candrea, Arizona softball has won eight national titles, including two back-to-back championships in 2006-2007. Candrea made his return to Tucson after leading team USA softball to a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Duel in the Desert – The rivalry between Arizona and Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. began a long time ago. Dating back to 1899, the rivalry between ASU and UA is renewed every year during the Duel in the Desert.

    Elite – The only way to describe UA swimming and diving. After winning dual NCAA titles in 2007-2008, the UA women fell just short of repeating placing third in the nation, while the men placed sixth. Although the title did not return to Tucson, the Wildcats recent success has put them among the nation’s top programs.

    Fridays – Bear Down Fridays happen each week before home football games. The bookstore offers 25% off Arizona merchandise while the Zona Zoo hosts a tailgate designed to get fans excited for the weekend game. The pep rally, located on University Boulevard, is designed to get fans excited for the big weekend game.

    Gronkowski Bros. – Chris and Rob Gronkowski are the bash brothers of Arizona football. The senior and junior, respectively, are both domineering at their positions. While Chris handles blocking and some reception duties at halfback, brother Rob is emerging as the premier tight end in the nation. Home Field Advantage – Whether the Wildcats are playing at Arizona Stadium or competing at McKale Center, the Zona Zoo is always there to support their team. The designated student section, Zona Zoo is rumored to be the largest in Pacific-10 Conference. The rowdy student section dons red for all home games, unifying student fans and showing support for their Wildcats.

    Ify Ibekwe – The forward from Carson, Calif. made her presence known on the court in her sophomore season for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-1 forward will be the leadership that the young women’s basketball team needs in their second season under Niya Butts. Ibekwe earned All-Pac-10 Honors and solidified herself as the centerpiece of UA women’s basketball.

    John “”Button”” Salmon – One of the most famous Arizona athletes of all time. The student body president, quarterback, and catcher on the baseball team is known for producing Arizona’s signature slogan “”Bear Down!”” as a result of his tragic 1926 fatal car accident. His inspiring words are painted on top of Bear Down Gym in his honor.

    Koria, Lini – The freshman put up impressive numbers in her first season for Arizona softball. The designated player for much of the season, Koria recorded a .352 batting average and hit 12 homers and knocked in 49 runs. Her powerful numbers continued into the postseason as Koria notched 12 hits in 21 at-bats.

    Las Vegas Bowl – The Wildcats made their return to a football bowl game for the first time in ten years. The return was an important step in solidifying Arizona as a program on the rise. In December, the 32-21 victory over No. 17 BYU was an early Christmas present for the Wildcats.

    Mascots – In 1915 the first mascot “”Rufus Arizona”” arrived on campus as and actual living breathing Wildcat. Arizona’s mascots have come a long way from their beginning. Arizona’s current mascot, Wilbur Wildcat, celebrates his 50th birthday in the fall of 2009. Wilbur had even taken a wife! On November 21, 1986 Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat were joined in matrimony.

    Nic Wise – The senior point guard chose to return to Tucson after testing the waters in the NBA draft. As a junior, Wise averaged 4.6 assists and 15.7 points per game. As the only senior on the team, the point guard will be a veteran leader to Sean Miller’s young Arizona squad.

    Oklahoma City – Although nearly 1000 miles from Tucson, Oklahoma City, Okla., has become a second home for UA softball. The consistency of Arizona play has earned them 21 trips to the Women’s College World Series and highlighted Arizona softball as one of the best in the nation.

    Power Conference – UA is part of the Pacific-10 Conference. Commonly known as the Pac-10, Arizona sits in the western conference consisting of four states: California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Known for being highly competitive in sports, the “”Conference of Champions”” has 378 NCAA championships to its name.

    Quarterback Battle – The question for Mike Stoops going into the 2009 football season will be the most important position on the field. In the post-Willie Tuitama era, the spot is left up for grabs between sophomore Matt Scott and Michigan State transfer Nick Foles. Scott is quick on his feet and has playing experience at UA but Foles is said to have the better throwing arm of the two.

    Running Game – In 2008, Arizona football developed their running game to compliment their aerial attack and they hope to continue their success in 2009. Running backs Keola Antolin and Nic Grigsby give Arizona a two-dimensional power offense that combines the best of power and speed.

    Sean Miller – After two years of interim head coaches, Arizona finally has a successor to legendary coach Lute Olson. Xavier’s Sean Miller became the head coach of Arizona basketball in April 2009 and has been hard at work to return the program back to one of the most recognizable at the NCAA tournament.

    Twenty-Five – years of tradition makes Tucson basketball town in Arizona. Since 1985, University of Arizona’s men’s basketball has made consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats streak is the second longest in tournament history behind North Carolina’s which ended at 27 in 2001.

    Ups and Downs – That’s how the 2009 season went for Arizona baseball. They saw a strong finish, winning 10 of their last 12 games in the Pac-10 to tie for fifth in the conference. Although the offense carried the Wildcats for most of the season, a rocky start to the pitching season left Arizona searching for an answer on the mound.

    Vengeance – is sweet! Many Wildcat teams indulged in beating up on rival Arizona State during the 2008-2009 seasons. Although the feat has been rare in recent years, Arizona relished in the season sweep of the Sun Devils in football, softball and for the first time ever in soccer.

    Whitney Dosty- the 6-foot-3 Tucson native is a powerful presence on the court for Arizona volleyball. After returning from a knee injury in 2007, Dosty recorded 281 kills and 61 blocks in her redshirt junior season. XC – Under head coach James Li, Arizona men’s cross-country (XC) team was cited as a top scholastic performance. The Wildcats were among the teams that scored in the top 10 percent in their sport, earning an NCAA Public Recognition Award.

    Youth – the name of the game for this year’s Arizona basketball team. Head coach Sean Miller acquired five freshmen recruits including Solomon Hill and Kyryl Natyazhko, who will help to fill the void left by Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger.

    Zazueta, Victor – The Tucson native distance runner proved impressive in his freshmen season as a Wildcat consistently finishing high in a majority of his meets. He finished 66th overall in the NCAA National Championship was one of only two members of the men’s squad to represent Arizona.

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